Enhancing Parabolic Trough Solar Collector Efficiency through Absorber Tube Rotation: A Computational Study

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Umamaheshwar Hebbal, Bhimasen Soragaon, Abdulrajak buradi, Mohan Das A N, Sudeep Kumar T


This work uses CFD simulations to examine how absorber tube rotation affects parabolic trough solar collector performance, including output temperature, thermal efficiency, and surface temperature distribution. Simulation results are closely matched to experimental data, with variances ranging from 0.54% to 4.63%. It examines how mass flow rates (0.01 kg/s, 0.015 kg/s, and 0.02 kg/s) and input temperatures (32°C to 38°C) affect system performance in stationary and rotational modes at 1 and 2 rpm. Tube rotation considerably improves thermal mixing in the heat transfer fluid (HTF), resulting in more equal temperature distribution and possibly improved heat transfer efficiency. Increased rotational speed causes complicated dynamics that slightly impair thermal efficiency due to centrifugal forces affecting fluid flow patterns. The study shows that thermal efficiency peaks in the morning, emphasizing the importance of climatic and operational factors on collector performance.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.52783/pst.276

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